JOHANESBURG Zimbabwe piled more misery on South Africa’s failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup as they ran out 2-1 winners over Bafana Bafana in an international friendly on Tuesday.
Knowledge Musona and Cuthbert Malajila scored for Zimbabwe while Brenad Parker managed a consolation goal for the hosts in stoppage time. South Africa went into the match with a number of changes to the side that beat Botswana 4-1 in the World Cup qualifier at the weekend but the changes proved to be too many as Zimbabwe dominated the game at the Orlando Stadium.
The visitors had the first scoring opportunity in the third minute when Kingston Nkhata set up Knowledge Musona on goal only for Musona to put his effort over the target. South Africa produced their best chance of the half in the 36th minute when Bernard Parker was put through on goal after some intricate play from Reneilwe Letsholonyane, David Mathebula and Bongani Zungu in midfield.
The danger though was cleared for a corner, which South Africa could not profit from. Bafana coach Gordon Igesund brought on two substitues for the second half, bringing on Ruzaigh Gamildien and Lebogang Manyama.
But it was Zimbabwe that made the breakthrough as Knowledge Musona rifled in a shot off a corner in the 50th minute.
Bafana debutant, goalkeeper Darren Keet had to save smartly to prevent Zimbabwe from doubling their lead a few minutes later when he rushed off his line to block a shot as Bafana’s back line struggled to defend. Bafana pushed for an equaliser and Parker’s header went narrowly wide. Tsepo Masilela’s curling effort was also narrowly off target.
Zimbabwe then wraped up the win in stoppage time when Cuthbert Malajila tapped-in a Nkhatha pass. Parker finally got a consolation goal for Bafana Bafana in the 94th minute. – iaAfrica